Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Olympic Games Standards

Last week I went over the standards need to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field.  They can be found HERE.  Similar to the Trials, the Olympic Games have their own set of qualifying standards, which are even stricter.
Here’s a look at the different Olympic Games standards for men and women in the distance running events;

Men’s Olympic Games A-standards
800m – 1:45.6
1500m – 3:35.5
5000m – 13:20.0
10,000m – 27:45.0
Steeplechase – 8:23.1

Men’s Olympic Games B-standards
800m – 1:46.3
1500m – 3:38.0
5000m – 13:27.0
10,000m – 28:05.0
Steeplechase – 8:32.0

Women’s Olympic Games A-standards
800m – 1:59.9
1500m – 4:06.0
5000m – 15:20.0
10,000m – 31:45.0
Steeplechase – 9:43.0

Women’s Olympic Games B-standards
800m – 2:01.3
1500m – 4:08.9
5000m – 15:30.0
10,000m – 32:10.0
Steeplechase – 9:48.0
A complete listing of qualifying standards for all of the events can be found HERE.
As you’re probably aware, the U.S. typically has 3 athletes in each event.  That is allowed only when each of those athletes has achieved the Olympic A-standard.  It’s even possible for an athlete to finish outside of the top-3 at the Trials and still make the Olympics because they have an A-standard, while one of the runners in front of them at the Trials does not.  This scenario nearly played out at the 2008 Trials for Minnesotan Katie McGregor.  Going into the meet, she had the A-standard, along with Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan.  As the 10,000m progressed, McGregor fell into 4th place.  To make the team, she simply needed Amy Yoder Begley to run slower than the A-standard.  However, Yoder Begley was able sneak under the standard, thus making the team instead of McGregor.
In some cases, there are events where no Olympic A-standard is achieved.  When that happens, the U.S. may enter 1 athlete, provided they have achieved the Olympic B-standard.  This may come into play this year for Minnesota triple jumper, Amanda Smock.  She has jumped 14.18m, which is above the B-standard of 14.10m, but below the A-standard of 14.30m.  Currently, no other jumpers have an A-standard.  If Smock can win the Trials, she’ll punch her ticket to London.
Next week I’ll begin previewing Minnesotan’s as they head into the Trials.

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